Porsche Carrera Cup Asia competitors had their first taste of the second generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car last week at Shanghai International Circuit as Will Bamber came out on top of the time sheets from the three-day test.
The fastest time of the 2017 tests resulted in a fastest lap time of 2:08.356, this year with the new car Bamber was over a second faster with a time of 2:07.134.
Reigning champion Chris Van Der Drift showed his pace throughout the sessions, ultimately finishing in second place with a time of 2:07.456.
Vice-champion Martin Ragginger secured the third fastest time of the sessions with a lap time of 2:07.723.
“Obviously, there’s the same Porsche DNA in the new car, but the Mark II (911 GT3 Cup Type 991.2) is a nice step forward.
“It already seems quicker than the test days last year. That’s really exciting for all of us and I’m looking forward to unlocking its full potential,” said Will Bamber, who for 2018 will be racing under a newly formed team by FIA WEC champion (and Will’s brother) Earl Bamber.
Chinese driver Cui Yue of Team Jebsen was also complimentary of the new car, “First of all, it’s an amazing season for us with a new car to drive.
“It has got good handling, more horsepower – I can clearly feel the power in the new engine. It’s a big difference compared with the old car.”
Porsche Beijing Central & Goldenport driver Li Chao added, “Powerful, passionate, and a pleasure to drive. I think the power is the most important.
“We need to be more careful with the new car because with the added power the tyres degrade at a quicker speed.”
The new season will get underway at Shanghai International Circuit alongside the FIA Formula 1 World Championship on 13-15 April.
“It’s fantastic to see all of our drivers eager to get back out on the track. Equally exciting was seeing the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car achieve significantly faster lap times than previous years,” said Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Manager Jochen Schaefer.
“Based on what we witnessed this weekend, this is going to an action-packed season with a strong line-up of competitive drivers. We can’t wait to get started.”